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Oct 16

A nutritionist’s top tips for moving to a more plant-based diet – The Courier

Is it OK to just stop eating meat overnight or do we have to do more if we want to move to a plant-based diet? We got some top tips from a nutritionist about what you need to do.

In research conducted by IPSOS Mori, it was estimated 2% of the Scottish population, around 108,000 people, considered themselves to be vegan in 2019.

Since then, plant-based diets have gained a lot more popularity in Scotland and more people are transitioning towards this way of eating.

But, just how easy is it to move to a plant-based diet and is it OK to just stop eating meat overnight?

We spoke to Blairgowrie-based nutritionist Catriona Ronald for her advice on moving to a vegetarian or vegan diet.

The first thing is that people really need to ask themselves why they want to go to a plant-based diet because therell be so many different reasons, says Catriona.

For some people its just because they want to help the planet and have sustainable diets, other people it might be for ethical reasons or religious reasons.

Do your research. What do you want to change your diet to? Know what you want to become and know the implications associated with it.

There is a wide spectrum of plant-based diets that Catriona refers to, from pollo vegetarian to fully vegan.

Start as a flexitarian by including one or two plant-based meals a week then increase at your own pace to two days plant-based per week and so on, adds Catriona.

For every level you go to towards a purely vegan diet you have to plan, think about it and do your research more.

The more you move towards a plant-based diet, the higher risk you have of missing out on certain nutrients.

Other tips that Catriona recommends include experimenting with a variety of fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, pulses, beans, nuts and seeds to ensure that those moving towards a plant-based diet get all of the nutrients they need.

Try to avoid processed foods as well, though thats the same for everyone, continues Catriona.

As veganism becomes more popular, more companies are jumping on the bandwagon with ready-made meals and other processed vegan products, but they arent better for you.

Becoming vegan or vegetarian requires planning to ensure that our diets contain the right amount of nutrients.

Having a plan, and even writing out a meal plan, will be very beneficial in ensuring you are getting the right nutrients into your diet.

It is important research is carried out before moving to the more extreme end of the plant-based diet spectrum.

Catriona said: Above all plan the change to your diet. There are some great resources available through vegetarian and vegan societies which have vegetarian and vegan versions of the NHS Eat Well Guide, plus recipes and other advice.

Its also worth looking at the resources available through the British Dietetic Association and One Blue Dot.

Just because you are vegetarian, or vegan does not necessarily mean you are having a healthy balanced diet.

Somebody could just go I want to be vegan now and if they planned it and knew the problems they might face and the nutrients they have to supplement or they can get fortified food for, they could become vegan basically overnight.

It really is dependent on the person themselves and how much research they do.

Cutting out entire food groups and moving to any kind of diet means that some nutrients that come from these cut foods wont be getting into the body and often have to be supplemented.

Catriona says that everyone should eat a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, beans, pulses, nuts and seeds for a healthy diet. And that most meals should be based around the vegetables and wholegrains.

While some nutrients can be sourced from other food groups, others, like vitamin B-12, are commonly taken as supplements.

Certain nutrients like vitamin B-12 in particular is only available from animal products, so cutting this out requires fortified foods or supplements for B-12.

Its a similar case for iodine which is from seafood. If youre not eating seafood then youve got to think about the sources of iodine you can get fortified milks and things like that.

Selenium is another one and even vitamin D, although generally people tend to take supplements for vitamin D with government guidance over the winter anyway.

It really depends on what people are eating. If they are eating the right vegetables and theyre still having a little bit of fish, chicken and meat then you dont actually need a huge amount of seafood and meat to get the nutrients that you need.

Catriona also highlights some nutrients that may be missed by those who have opted for the more extreme end of the plant-based diet spectrum, by transitioning to a vegan diet.

Iron is another nutrient that we need and its best source is from red meat, she says.

Iron-rich plant options include kale, raisins, dried apricots, figs and cooked spinach. Iron absorption can also be boosted by adding vitamin C sources to meals, such as including pepper, broccoli, cabbage, kiwi, strawberries, pineapple or lemon juice.

For calcium, the best sources are dairy and tinned fish with bones such as salmon and sardines.

Plant-based diet sources usually come from fortified plant-based milks, yoghurts, tofu and is also available in foods such as sesame seeds, chia seeds, chickpeas, kale and almonds.

Vitamin D and magnesium are also important as they are required to work with calcium for bone health, which can sometimes be an issue in the vegan diet.

Vitamin D advice in Scotland is to take a supplement of at least 10 micrograms per day between September to April.

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A nutritionist's top tips for moving to a more plant-based diet - The Courier

Oct 16

Seed Oil Is the Latest Thing We’re Being Told to Eliminate from Our DietsHere’s Why – GQ Magazine

Highly processed vegetable oils made from corn, soy, sunflower, canola, and other plants are easy to find in home kitchens and grocery stores these days, but theyve been around in human diets for only a short time, relatively speaking. It wasnt until the early 1900s that the technology required to process these oils was invented, resulting in a product still found on grocery shelves: Crisco. Introduced in 1911, it was a cooking fat derived from cottonseed oil that resembled lard, but was manufactured by Procter & Gamble through a chemical process. After bringing Crisco to market, the Ohio-based company went on an advertising blitz selling the notion that its oil was more healthy than the saturated animal fats typically used for cooking at the time. It worked: In a matter of five years, the company was selling tens of millions of pounds of Crisco. Other refined vegetable oils followed over the course of the 20th centurythese days they're often referred to as seed oils as a catchall term.

In recent years, however, seed oils have become something of a nutritional bogeyman. While most mainstream nutrition experts don't consider them particularly unhealthy, many doctors and nutritionists claim that the specific fatty acids found in processed vegetable oils lead to inflammation and chronic health conditions. Last year, Joe Rogan talked to doctor and carnivore diet evangelist Paul Saladino about this for more than three hours. On another podcast in 2020, board-certified family physician Cate Shanahan referred to the most common seed oils on the market today as the hateful eight, to be avoided at all costs. So what gives? Should we forswear all seed oil?

Acid Test

All cooking oils are combinations of fatty acids, but its the generally higher levels of polyunsaturated fats found in seed oils that make them undesirable in the eyes of some dietitians and health professionals.

A healthy person has about 2 percent of polyunsaturated fat in their body fat; on average, however, people contain as much as 30 percent of polyunsaturated fat in their body fat. The cause, Shanahan notes, is due to seed oils. Higher-than-normal levels of polyunsaturated fats can lead to reduced energy and bodily inflammation, which in turn can contribute to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Furthermore, the highly processed nature of seed oilsthere are multiple steps and chemicals involved in their productionmakes them ultra-rich in omega-6 fatty acids, a key contributor to inflammation. According to Chris Kresser, co-director of the California Center for Functional Medicine, the human body works best when its ratio of omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids (the ones you see on any bottle of grocery-store fish-oil supplement) is balanced.

Many Americans diets, however, have thrown this balance way out of whack: We generally get far too much omega-6 than we do omega-3 thanks to our food choices and how were cooking our meals. [S]eed oils are perhaps the most significant contributor to the imbalanced omega-6-to-omega-3 ratio, Kresser writes, and thus play a significant role in chronic inflammatory diseases.

In short, one main argument against consuming seed oils is that the fatty acids they contain promote inflammation, the follow-on effects of which are chronic diseases that wed all like to avoid. There are studies out there that bear out this conclusion, several of which call out omega-6 fatty acids specifically for the roles they play in increased risk for obesity and long-term disease. The Sydney Diet Heart Study from the 1960s also shows that participants who replaced saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats high in linoleic acidanother fatty acid also found in many seed oilshad a higher risk of death from coronary heart disease, as STAT reported several years ago.

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Seed Oil Is the Latest Thing We're Being Told to Eliminate from Our DietsHere's Why - GQ Magazine

Oct 16

Dementia diet: Limiting this food item every day to just a tablespoon can reduce risk, shows MIND nutrition plan that protects brain and heart health…

Watch what you eat as it affects your brain and heart 

Dementia is an illness usually associated with old age, often characterized by a progressive decline in cognitive functions from the previous level. Loss of memory for recent events is a classical feature. According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Public Healththat cites various epidemiological evidence, it has been reported that the prevalence rate of Dementia in India ranges from 2 per 1000 to 35 per 1000 people.

This assumes scary dimensions as India is currently undergoing a phase of demographic transition wherein the aged population is rapidly growing. With life expectancy having increased, India currently has an elderly population that ranges around 104 million compared to 5.63 million in 1961.

Simply put, we need to be aware of how to lower or avert this dementia epidemic that looms.

According to a report published by the British Heart Foundation, experts acknowledge that what you eat can affect your physical health and by that logic, what affects your heart affects your brain too. Theres now some evidence that the right diet could reduce your risk of developing dementia as well as being heart-healthy. Having heart or circulatory disease can raise your risk of dementia, so it makes sense to look after both your heart and your brain.

The MIND diet to prevent Dementia:The acronym MIND stands for a diet method called Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.

Here again, DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) meant to help patients combat and beat hypertension or high blood pressure through sensible, heart-friendly eating choices.

The DASH diet lays emphasis on the intake of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans and nuts are a part of the DASH diet that limits foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats and full-fat dairy products.

The MIND diet plan was created by researchers at Rush University in Chicago, to help prevent dementia and slow age-related loss of brain function.Its a combination of two diets already known to reduce the risk of heart and circulatory disease: the Mediterranean diet (based on whole grains, fish, pulses, fruits and vegetables) and the DASH diet.

5 foods to AVOID to reduce chances of onset ofDementia:

WHAT can one eat on thebrain-friendly MIND diet?

(This list is courtesy of

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider if you have any specific questions about any medical matter.

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Dementia diet: Limiting this food item every day to just a tablespoon can reduce risk, shows MIND nutrition plan that protects brain and heart health...

Oct 16

5 Reasons to Add Sorghum to Your Diet, Starting with Protein – The Beet

Looking for a little more protein with your grains? Look no further than sorghum, which may be the most healthy, protein-packed, fiber-filled, and overlooked grain in America. For anyone seeking to avoid wheat, get more nutrients from their meals, and power up the protein, sorghum is the answer.

With 10 grams of protein in a half a cup of sorghum, along with 6 grams of fiber and a host of healthy nutrients such as: Potassium, Niacin, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, and Magnesium, and Maganese, sorghum reads like a multivitamin of whole foods and it definitely deserves more respect.Anancientgrain believed to haveoriginated in Africa, sorghum is a staple the world over: It's the fifth most commonly growncrop in the world after wheat, rice, corn, and barley and across the globe, some 500 million people rely on sorghum as a staple of their diet.So why are Americans still not familiar with it?

Outside of the Southeast US, sorghum is relegated to animal feed, or as an ingredient in packaged or processed foods, as a syrup or alcohol to fill out the nutritional value. Yet sorghum is a versatile plant food: It's gluten-free, easily grown, andinexpensive. The sorghum crop is known to withstand drought and extremely arid conditions as easily as it can grow in the wake of floods, and sorghum is better for the environment than most other grains. Still, it's most commonly added to our foods across categories as "cheap filler" from cereals to beverages but is largely passed over as a staple in Western diets.

Worldwide, there aremore than 30 different species of sorghum grown invarious regions. Other names for sorghum are great millet, Indian millet, and jowar. In many parts of the world, sorghum is a popular animal feed and more recently, an emerging biofuel.

The main applicationfor sorghum in the USis as animal feed or used as a syrup added to processed grain products. However, in other parts of the world, sorghum is a household grain often used to make bread, couscous, and a delicious popped snack. It can also be fermented andadded to beverages. The versatile grain isa great alternative to wheat amonggluten-free consumers since it is safe for anyone with a gluten allergy.

Sorghum is used in more than 350 productsinthe US market, across food categories.But most commonly sorghum is used in agricultureas an environmentally friendly option that is lessimpactful to grow than wheat. Sorghum is both cheap and healthy packed with plant-based protein.

But when looking at the future of food, it has one other benefit: Sorghum captures carbon released into the air and sends it back down its stalk and root system to replenish the soil and create a more enriching environment for crops to grow in. Unlike most crops that require rotation and allowing the soil to replenish, sorghum does this naturally, and now the Salk Institute with a grant from the Bezos Global Fund is looking into ways to further enhance this function and grow super-sorghum crops that will help the world's climate crisis by sucking carbon emissions out of the atmosphere.

Consumers worldwide look for antioxidants in their foods, beverages, or just about any way possible. One key highlight of sorghum is that it's rich in antioxidants.Sorghum contains several phytochemicals including flavonoids, tannins, and anthocyanins. In short, sorghumdelivers several active nutrients that help reduce oxidative stress in the body. Diets high in antioxidants have been connected to a lower risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and more.

Sorghums bran layer contains higher levels of antioxidants than fruits, including blueberries, plums, and strawberries.

Specific varieties of sorghum contain even rarer nutrients that are difficult to find in nature. Sumac sorghum contains condensed tannins known as proanthocyanidins that help protect the cardiovascular system. Black sorghum contains 3-dexoanthocyanins that are the purple, blue or deeply pigmented antioxidants that give berries their color but once eaten, they help fight free radicals in the body. Studieshave found that eating sorghum can help combat the development of malignant cells associated with certain cancers, such as melanoma.

Among the grain family, sorghum is among the leaderswhen it comes to protein content. The grain contains approximately 22 grams of protein in one cup of cooked whole grain sorghum. Other grains such as rice contain 6.5 grams; quinoa contains 8.1 grams; Kamut contains 11.1 grams. When looking toboost yourprotein intake, sorghum is an easy substitute forother grains, especially mixed into salads, soups, and cereals.

Sorghum is a key example of how a plant-based grain can be eaten to supplement this protein value. The recommended daily protein intake ranges from 46 grams (for women) to 56 grams for men, and about 10 to 20 grams more if you are active. So one cup ofsorghum contains approximatelyhalf of what women need daily and about one-third of what active men require.When looking for plant-based sourcesof protein, sorghum is a key source thatis similar to other grain sources in its amino acid profiles.

Sorghum offers arich source for dietary fiber, containing 12 grams per cup, orclose to half the dailyrecommended intake for fiber (which should exceed 24 grams per day). Sorghums fibercontentsurpasses several other popular grains: Quinoa is a high fiber grain, butone cup of quinoa contains 5 grams of fiber, whereas sorghum has more than twice that. This is one reason sorghum isbeneficial for digestive health.

Sorghums high fiber helps regular blood sugar levels and slows the absorption of nutrients, making you feel fuller longer. The fiber in sorghum can also prevent kidney stones, lower the risk of hemorrhoids, and help to lower LDL (or so-called bad) cholesterol.

Researchhas found that the activenutrients in sorghum have been linked in lab studies to preventing or at least reducing thegrowth of certain cancer cells, including gastrointestinal cancer and skin cancer, specifically melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Thephytochemicals in sorghum have been associated witha lowerincidence of cancerous cell development in the lab. Still morestudies have linked eating a diet high in sorghum with suppressed rates of esophageal cancer in countries where the population lives on sorghum: South Africa, India, China, Iran, and Russia. The study points out that othergrains such as wheat and corn have been linked to elevated esophageal cancer levels. Yet another lab study showed that sorghum haled cell growth in breast cancer cells in animals.

Sorghum contains vitamins that are often lacking in a standard American diet, such as iron, B vitamins, and phosphorous. A single cup of sorghumprovides8.4 mg of iron, which is 47 percent of the daily recommended value for iron; 55 percent of the recommended amount of phosphorous, and large quantities of magnesium, copper, calcium, zinc, and potassium. Sorghum's profile of micro-nutrientsis a list of powerfulvitamins and minerals known tohelp boost overall health.

Sorghum is an excellent source of niacin and thiamin, two B vitamins that help the body maximize metabolism and help get more nutrients from the food you eat.One cup of sorghum contains 30 percent of the recommended daily amount for both these B-vitamins. Along with metabolic support, niacin and thiamin help convert calories intoenergy easier so that anyone who eats sorghum is likely to feel energized and burn off their food rather than store it as fat. These important B vitamins also benefit skin and hair health, and neural development.

Sorghums value has beenenhanced beyond nutritional value to human health. The Salk Instituteis betting thatsorghum can become aclimatehero, and is funding a project to investigate sorghums ability to store atmospheric carbon.Sorghum essentially vacuums the carbonout of the atmosphere and delivers it back into the soil to help create more nutritious crops in the future and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

Salklaunched its Harnessing Plant Initiative to develop a strain of sorghum thatpumps up this natural ability, making its carbon retention as efficient as possible. The five-year, $6.2 million campaign plans to test sorghum strains and determinehow to best utilize the cropone of the reasons sorghum is enjoying renewed attention.

Our research community has the opportunity to use cutting-edge science and innovation to help change the course of climate change, Nadia Shakoor, the senior research scientist at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, which is working with the Salk HPI, said. Sorghum is an incredible plant that holds great promise as a carbon-sequestering crop

For many consumers, this is their first time hearing about sorghum. Sorghum has a mild taste withearthy and sweetnotes. The texture is most closely associated with wheat berries. Even though the grain is commonly grown, many of its applications are unknown. When cooking sorghum at home, theres plenty of ways to prepare the ancient grain. The common crop can be cooked and boiled into a substantive base for any grain bowl or even grain salad.

The grain works perfectly as a substitute for many mixed dishes including couscous, risotto, and farro salad. To get more experimental, sorghum syrup is a perfect base for a dressing, providing a natural sweetness that can make for a delicious marinade or possible salad dressing. Finally, there is the classic popped sorghum. Similar to popcorn, the grain can be popped to produce a similarly textured snack, but full of the nutrients and health benefits that sorghum brings to the table.

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5 Reasons to Add Sorghum to Your Diet, Starting with Protein - The Beet

Oct 5

Diet Tip of the Week: Listen to your body – Kdminer

When we eat a meal, messages are sent from our body to our brain and from our brain to our body. The messages from our body are important to listen to!

Hi, this is Eunice from Diet Center.

Our taste buds may tell our brain how pleasant the flavors are. Enjoying tastes and textures are important to having a satisfying meal.

It takes about 20 minutes for our brain to recognize that our bodys needs have been met, and we are no longer hungry. This is important so that we dont overeat.

The messages from our brain to our body can be confusing. Its good if we listen to our brain telling us were full and to stop eating. Sometimes our brain may send messages that relate to our mental/emotional needs rather than physical needs. For example, the sight of food may have your brain thinking: I cant leave this much food on my plate and waste it; or I had a bad day, and ice cream will make me feel better. If its a special treat made by a loved one, your brain may say: I cant hurt my moms feelings and not eat her cake.

The messages we get when consuming a meal are important to listen to. We also need to be aware of which address physical needs, and which address emotional needs. Physically, our body needs food to obtain essential nutrients without excess calories, so that we can reach and maintain a healthy weight. Emotional needs can be taken care of without food.

Did you know that only 7% of the French population is obese compared to 30% of all Americans (having a BMI of 30 or greater)? Research shows that this is mostly attributed to portion size differences. A study compared the portion sizes of foods in Paris to the portions of foods in Philadelphia.

Researchers compared similar fast food chains, ice cream parlors, pizza shops and ethnic restaurants. The average portion in Philadelphia was 25% larger than in Paris. They also found that Chinese restaurants in Philadelphia served meals 72% larger than Chinese restaurants in Paris. In supermarkets, a candy bar was found to be 41% larger, soft drinks were 52% larger, and hot dogs were 63% larger in Philadelphia than the same items in Paris. Even a nutritious yogurt was 82% larger! American cookbooks were compared to French versions. They found that American recipes yield larger portions than the French versions.

The results of this study further stress the importance of practicing portion sizing to control weight, as your Diet Center program guides you to do. It also reflects the fact that people can be satisfied with less, but American culture encourages us to want more. While the focus here is portion size, nutritious choices are just as important to ones health.

Thank you for reading Diet Centers tip of the week. If youre struggling with weight loss, call 928-753-5066 or stop by 1848 Hope Ave. in Kingman.

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Diet Tip of the Week: Listen to your body - Kdminer

Oct 5

The blood-pressure-lowering benefits of a DASH diet – The Globe and Mail

Eating the right diet and getting regular exercise are effective strategies to lower elevated blood pressure.

Clinical trials have found this to be true in people with hypertension (high blood pressure) who dont take blood-pressure-lowering drugs, as well as those who are treated with one or two medications.

Yet among people with high blood pressure that doesnt respond to drug therapy, called resistant hypertension, studies investigating the potential benefit of diet and exercise have been almost non-existent.

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Until now.

A randomized controlled trial from Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C., demonstrated that the combination of diet, reducing sodium intake and exercise led to significant blood-pressure-lowering effects in people with resistant hypertension.

Hypertension, affecting almost one in four Canadians, is a leading preventable risk factor for heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Up to 30 per cent of people diagnosed with hypertension have resistant hypertension, defined as having a blood pressure reading that remains above target despite taking three or more blood-pressure-lowering drugs at optimal doses.

Over time, uncontrolled blood pressure is associated with a 50-per-cent greater risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death compared to controlled blood pressure.

The TRIUMPH study, published on Sept. 27 in the American Heart Associations journal Circulation, was the first to test the effect of comprehensive lifestyle modification on resistant hypertension. (TRIUMPH stands for Treating Resistant Hypertension Using Lifestyle Modification to Promote Health.)

For the four-month trial, 140 participants with resistant hypertension received either an intensive lifestyle intervention or standardized education and physician advice.

Those in the lifestyle intervention group were instructed how to follow the DASH diet with a calorie and sodium restriction. (DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.) These participants also received feedback on their adherence to the diet during weekly 45-minute group sessions led by a dietitian and psychologist.

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The lifestyle intervention also included 30 to 45 minutes of biking and/or walking (and eventually jogging) three times a week under the supervision of an exercise physiologist.

Participants in the comparison group attended a one-hour educational session and received DASH diet materials. They were also given weight-loss targets and exercise goals which they were to achieve on their own.

All participants adhered to their blood pressure medication regimens during the study.

After 16 weeks, both groups experienced a significant reduction in blood pressure, comparable to that seen with blood-pressure-lowering medications.

Participants in the intensive lifestyle intervention group, however, achieved the greatest reduction in blood pressure. They also lost significantly more weight over the study period, 15 pounds versus 8.5 for those in the comparison group.

Diet and exercise modifications are often recommended before starting a medication to lower blood pressure. These new findings demonstrate that they are also an effective strategy when medications alone are not doing enough to manage blood pressure.

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The DASH diet, first proven to lower blood pressure in people with mild hypertension in 1997, focuses on fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and beans, lentils, nuts and seeds. These foods supply plenty of calcium, magnesium and potassium, minerals that help regulate blood pressure.

The diet plan also emphasizes whole grains and limits red meat and sweets. It also limits foods high in saturated fat such as fatty meats, high-fat dairy products, butter and coconut oil. Sodium intake is restricted to 1,500 to 2,300 milligrams per day. (One teaspoon of table salt contains 2,300 milligrams of sodium.)

The DASH diet advises specific daily or weekly servings of food groups depending on your calorie needs.

A 1,600-calorie DASH diet recommends, for example, eating three to four vegetable servings, four fruit servings, six whole grain servings, two to three low-fat dairy servings, three to six lean protein servings and two unsaturated oil servings daily. A serving of beans, lentils, nuts or seeds is recommended three times per week.

One serving is equivalent to one half-cup cooked vegetables or one cup salad greens, one medium-sized fruit or one half-cup fresh fruit, one slice whole grain bread or one half-cup cooked grains, one cup milk or yogurt, one ounce cooked fish or meat, one teaspoon vegetable oil or two tablespoons salad dressing and one-third-cup nuts or one half-cup cooked beans or lentils.

Leslie Beck, a Toronto-based private practice dietitian, is director of food and nutrition at Medcan. Follow her on Twitter @LeslieBeckRD

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The blood-pressure-lowering benefits of a DASH diet - The Globe and Mail

Oct 5

New Study Claims The MIND Diet Can Help Prevent This Common Aging Problem | Eat This Not That – Eat This, Not That

By now, if you're interested in living a long, healthy life, you probably have some sense of how different foods affect your body. You may have even noticed, for instance, which breakfast foods leave you feeling groggy all day versus the ones that give you the energy boost you need in the morning.

Scientists continue to explore how what we eat affects not just our bodies but our minds, too. This is why the MIND diet is of particular interestit combines elements of the Mediterranean diet with those of the DASH diet to create a food plan designed to boost your cognitive health. New research finds that this diet can help older adults fight dementia, even when they have physical markers linked to Alzheimer's disease.

RELATED:The Best Foods for Your Brain After 50, Say Dietitians

The study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, looked at data from 569 deceased people. Researchers at Rush University Medical Center compared their performance on cognitive tests taken late in their lives to information about their diet as well as to their post-death autopsy reports. The researchers found that people who kept to the MIND diet performed better on the cognitive tests, even when their brains showed the physical signsplaques and tanglesthat are typically characteristic of Alzheimer's disease.

This suggests that the MIND diet could play a role in helping older adults keep their minds sharp, even as their bodies work against them.

"This study suggests our food choices can build resilience against cognitive decline as we age, even when the physical signs of Alzheimer's disease are present in the brain," Maggie Moon, MS, RD, best-selling author of The MIND Diet, told Eat This, Not That! in an interview. "That's especially important because drugs don't work, at least not right now. Even when they clear some of the plaques from the brain, they haven't been able to reduce or slow cognitive decline."

The name MIND diet is not just a statement of the diet's intended benefitsit's also an acronym. It stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. Researchers propose that the closer people stick to this diet, the lower their risk of Alzheimer's disease will be. Recommended foods on this diet include "leafy greens, a variety of vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, nuts, beans, berries, poultry, fish, and wine in moderation," says Moon.

"There are also a set of recommendations for foods to limit in your diet," says Julie Andrews, MS, RDN, CD, FAND, author of The Brain Health Cookbook: MIND Diet Recipes to Prevent Disease and Enhance Cognitive Power. "Those foods include fried foods, processed and red meat, whole-fat dairy, and sweets and pastries. These foods can still be included in your dietsay, if cheese is your favorite food, but it's recommended to limit them and focus more on the MIND diet superfoods."

The researchers behind this study also point to previous studies that suggest the foods in the MIND diet are rich in antioxidants, have anti-inflammatory properties, and are associated with protecting people's cognitive health.

For more on how to make food choices that will keep you sharp, be sure to check out these 10 Best Foods to Boost Brainpower. Then, don't forget to sign up for our newsletter!

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New Study Claims The MIND Diet Can Help Prevent This Common Aging Problem | Eat This Not That - Eat This, Not That

Oct 5

A look at the role of diet as a tool to prevent, reduce breast cancer risk | Mahoney – Tallahassee Democrat

Mark Mahoney| Guest columnist

In past years I have provided information on general awareness including the role of a healthy diet in helping to reduce the likelihood of breast cancer.

As we focus on Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October the following is a reiteration of some recommendations for serious consideration to support this initiative.

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Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. Each year in the United States, more than 250,000 women get breast cancer and 42,000 women die from the disease. Some additional facts include the following:

Healthy lifestyle choices are linked to a lower risk of different types of cancer and other health conditions, such as heart disease. A healthy lifestyle includes maintaining a healthy weight and eating a healthy diet.

Studies on maintaining a healthy weight and lowering the risk of a first-time breast cancer suggest that overweight women have an increased risk of breast cancer after menopause (when most breast cancers occur) compared to women at a healthy weight.

Overweight women are thought to be at higher risk for breast cancer because the extra fat cells make estrogen, which can cause extra breast cell growth. This extra growth increases the risk of breast cancer. Other studies such as the Women's Health Initiative Trial suggested that a diet very low in fat may reduce the risk of breast cancer.

More research is needed in this important area for women who are interested in eating well to reduce their risk of ever getting breast cancer.

Although no food or diet can prevent you from getting breast cancer some foods can make your body the healthiest it can be, boost your immune system, and help keep your risk for breast cancer as low as possible.

Some general recommendations proposed by Registered Dietitians (RDs) include:

You'll find that processed foods generally don't fit in this type of diet as well as fresh foods do.

More: Get the facts to fight back during Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Being active, eating a balanced diet and making healthy lifestyle choices can be physically and mentally rewarding at any point in life. And it can also produce positive benefits in helping prevent and/or reduce breast cancer.

Thanks to the Breast Cancer Awareness organization as well as the Susan G. Komen organization for much of the content provided in this column.

Check out the Center for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC)

An explanation on the role of healthy lifestyle choices can be accessed

A discussion of steps to reduce the risk for breast cancer with a focus on prevention is available through the Mayo Clinic

Mark A. Mahoney, Ph.D. has been a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist for over 35 years and completed graduate studies in Nutrition & Public Health at Columbia University. He can be reached at

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Oct 5

GW Parkway will get restriping and road diet – WTOP

Starting on Tuesday, drivers on the southern portion of the George Washington Parkway will likely see road crews, lane closures and likely increased backups.

Starting Tuesday, drivers on the southern portion of the George Washington Parkway will likely see road crews, lane closures and likely increased backups.

Its part of the National Parks Services plan to restripe that part of the road and include a road diet to change one of the southbound lanes into a turning lane.

The project will focus on the George Washington Parkway from Alexandria, Virginia, all the way to its terminus near George Washingtons Mt. Vernon estate.

Were actually going to start restriping the parkway on the Mount Vernon side moving northbound. Well restripe, in kind, all the northbound lanes all the way to Alexandria. And then later this fall will begin restriping the southbound lanes, said Park Ranger Aaron LaRocca. Some of the restriping of the southbound lanes will also include reducing a lane southbound to create a traffic calming device known as a road diet.

Drivers will see this diet from Stratford Lane and Tulane Drive, or where the parkway does not have an existing median.

The service said a traffic study they conducted concluded the dieted road could handle the same traffic volume as the two-lane configuration.

Then at Bellevue and Belle Haven intersections with the parkway, well be putting some bollards in the roadway so that motorists have really clear defined movements that they can make through those intersections, LaRocca added.

Expect to see lane closures during weekdays. The National Park Service said crews will work on the northbound lanes starting at 9 a.m. and finish by 6:30 p.m. When they move to the southbound lanes, they will start earlier, at 5 a.m., and finish at 2 p.m. before the afternoon rush.

The changes are intended to make the parkway safer for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists while maintaining its historic feel. In April, the park service announced the changes after concluding a yearslong safety study.

We undertook a study called the South Parkway Safety Study, where we went to the public kind of a two different occasions. Very early on in the study, we laid out a map of the parkway out onto the table and said, You use this road, what is your experiences? What are your suggestions for the park service to further evaluate about ways to improve safety? We took all of those different recommendations. We filtered them for what would be appropriate for national park in the southern section of the parkway, said LaRocca.

The project will likely finish by the end of the year.

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GW Parkway will get restriping and road diet - WTOP

Oct 5

In HBO Max’s "The Way Down," one evangelical church preaches dieting as the way to salvation – Salon

"We just thank you for this teaching that has given us freedom, and kept our weight off after all this time, God," says one of the women praying on her knees in the opening of newHBO Maxdocuseries "The Way Down."

The series follows Gwen Shamblin Lara's rise as an evangelical preacher through archival footage, depositionsand interviews with former members of Remnant Fellowship Church, which she founded. The documentary's full title "The Way Down: God, Greed, and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin" makes it clear thatthis is not the typical expos of an evangelical church. Here, diet culture prevails.

But before delving into that peculiar aspect of the church, one other detail makes this story particularly fascinating right now.Shamblin Lara died unexpectedly in Mayat age 66 in a plane crashshortly after takeoff.

Thatgrim turn of events had an unforeseen effect on "The Way Down," which opens with footage of the search and rescue team sent out after Shamblin Lara's private jet crashed into Percy Priest Lake in Tennessee, killing her and five other church members aboard. And although director Marina Zenovich never was able to interview her subject for the series directly, many of those who were afraid to speak out about their experiences with Remnant Fellowship while Shamblin Lara was alive have now come forward. This sparked the need for two more episodes of the series, which will follow in 2022.

For now, HBO Max has released the first three episodes, whichgo into detail aboutthe ways that Remnant Fellowship controlled former members, including allegations of child abuse and, in one case, accusations of the killing of one child by his parents. There'sbehavior that the series characterizes as cultlike, such asmega worship services with a charismatic leader, whom people both love and fear. But throughout the series, one of the oddest themes is of Shamblin Lara's obsession with the weight of her followers.

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Shamblin Lara, who's recognizable for her gravity-defying teased hair,earned a Mastersin food and nutrition and was a registered dietitianwho worked with the Tennessee Department of Health for five years. She put a twist on the usual weight loss approaches by developing her Christian diet program called theWeigh Down Workshop, which proposes that devotees can lose weight through belief in God. While some would see this as a more spiritual departure from diets that usually focus on physical and behaviorial approaches, thepatriarchal aspects of evangelical teachings begin to reveal themselves.

The basic principles of Weigh Down are supposedly portion control (hardly a revolutionary diet strategy), and dedicating the rest of the time to prayer instead of thinking about food. Throughout the series, we see former members describing their experiences with Weigh Down that go beyond merely prayer: one is told to fast even after losing over 100 pounds. Another remembers asking her husband for permissionto order Starbucks, and being told she could havethat or dinner. Another fasted for 40 days.

In one archival video, Shamblin Lara sits in a white dress withhuge gold hoops in her ears.

"God revealed to me that this is the true deliverance," she coos, "and that the key to permanent weight control is a matter of the heart."

More footage shows women proudly holding up pants that no longer fit them, similar to before and after ads for services like Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers.

Then Shamblin Lara's teachings go further: the congregation at Remnant is told that a thin body means you are "right with God." This meant that the overweight among the congregation were doing something wrong, that the people putting weight back on after losing it were clearly not in God's good graces (and presumably this means they're on "the way down" in the afterlife). To Shamblin Lara, the faster you lost weight, the holier you were. As one former member put it, if you weren't skinny, you weren't saved. "It was all about salvation. Nothing to do with Jesus Christ, it was about being thin."

This intersection of faith and diet culture is a twisted version of the world of juice cleanses and intermittent fasting in mainstream culture. Replace the negative language Remnant uses to describe plus-sized people with words like "lazy" , "weak-willed", or "unintelligent". Replace the "fear of God" as the motivator of the Weigh Down Workshops with "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." The stigma surrounding plus-sized people is the same, repackaged in a way that the believers of Remnant understand.

Fatphobia plagues the way that we as a society operate. It's a normalized structure that if you don't look a certain way, you can't find clothes that fit, or be comfortable on an airplane, or access proper medical care. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, 28.8 million Americans will struggle with an eating disorder in their lifetime.

Throughout the series it's shown how Shamblin Lara used the language of manipulation present in many alleged cults to control believers. She tailored her teachings to an audience of the faithful by having them believe that the message she spread was one communicated to her by a higher power. She told her congregants that people in Weigh Down who were not a part of Remnant were gaining weight back from not being a part of the true religion she preached.

"The overarching theme of everything she ever taught in there was about being under God's authority, which was her." one former member says, "Everything fell around that. And then everything else was about the weight and what you looked like. . . . she was the voice from God."

"She beckoned to people," Reverend Rafael Martinez, a cult interventionist, says in the series."She began to believe that the Weigh Down Workshop message was the answer to all the world's evils . . .Christian perfectionism could only be achieved by following her message." That version of perfection may have looked different from how mainstream society would view it in everything but its clothing size.

Groups that exhibit what is interpreted as cultlike behavioerare made entertaining in documentaries like "The Way Down" because their beliefs and actions areoutside of the reality of the average viewer. And in many ways, the series hits all the right points of a good expos:Anonymous talking heads in dark rooms. Footage of people crying in prayer. Laughter in how ridiculous it all is, now that the former members are out. Sadness when you realize that Remnant is still in operation, run by Shamblin Lara's daughter Michelle, with no sign of changing. But the thread of the Weigh Down Workshops and the way this belief of theirs reflects our own societal pressures ultimately humanizes Remnant.

Diet culture and fatphobia are so pervasive that they can even infiltrate the places we would least expect it. Members of Remnant aren't special for the way they interpret diet culture. In fact, they're just like us. It turns an unforgiving look at the viewer who would believe they're above cultlike fanaticism: if we're able to ingest certain beliefs about other people in our day to day, what's stopping us from taking that further? What would we believe next?

The first tree episodes of "The Way Down" are available now to stream on HBO Max, with two more releasing in 2022.

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In HBO Max's "The Way Down," one evangelical church preaches dieting as the way to salvation - Salon

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